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The Role of Religion

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Novelist, Marjane Satrapi, in her graphic novel, Persepolis, recounts her childhood during the Iranian Revolution. Satrapi’s purpose was to counter the world’s perspective of Iran. She adopts an intellectual tone in order to enhance the religious relationships and to portray the effects of the world’s actions upon one's faith.

Marji’s relationship with God depicts the importance of her faith and further implicates her role as a maturing young woman. Marji explains that “[she] wanted to be a prophet… Because [their] maid did not eat with [them]. Because [her] father drove a Cadillac. And above all, because [her] grandmother’s knees ached” (6). Marji feels as if she can make a change to the Iranian political situation and help her family by becoming a prophet. Every night Marji had a big discussion with God. She thinks “God [should give her] some more time, and that [she] is not quite ready yet.” God looks upon her as his “celestial light” and believes “[she] is his choice, [his] last and best choice.” In this scene, God explains his trust in Marji. She started realizing, “[she] didn't know what justice was. Now that the revolution was over once and for all, [she] abandoned the dialectic materialism of [her] comic strips. The only place [she] felt safe was in the arms of [her] friend” (53). This shows that when the real world fails to satisfy one’s needs, his or her religious leader is always there for comfort.

During this time period, religion was one of the major motives of violence and it shows how strict religious ways can influence one's actions. Marji’s mother proclaims that “two guys… two bearded guys!... two fundamentalist bastards insulted [her]. They said that women like [her] should be pushed against a wall and [raped]. And then thrown into the garbage. And if [she] didn't want that to happen, [she] should wear the veil” (74). These harsh words towards a woman illuminates the true beliefs of the fundamentalists and how far they would go in order to fulfill their duty. This lead to a law “to protect women from all the potential rapists. They decreed that wearing the veil was obligatory” (74). The veil became a huge obstacle in the area of Islam. It became inevitable that women had to wear the veil and if they broke this rule of their religion,



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